NAHBS or Thoughts on Wanting

Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Chuck (a guy in Tucson with a mohawk, a bike and yogurt cups for drinking glasses) and their ilk are almost universally admired for owning close to nothing. At the same time, John Waters, Charles and Ray Eames, Grandma Hero and Uncle Tenspeed are also admired for their almost curated collections of stuff.

Knick-knacks, pottery, records (or CDs), books, cast iron frying pans (Griswald), things to make coffee with (Chemex, French press, La Pavoni), paintings of dogs from thrift stores, and bikes are all desired objects, functionally and aesthetically. The Heroes would love to travel light like Mahatma but we would not, could not trade our bicycles. Nor would we, could we part with our bone china. The fabled N+1 rule is too true. N+1 (the number you already have, plus one) is the answer to the question “how many bikes should one have?”

Cyclists and bicycle aficionados are always shopping. When a purchase cannot be justified (or afforded), a link to the desired item’s location is sent to a friend. The joy of buying a new frame, handlebar, saddle, wheel set, whatever, as long as it relates to cycling, must be fulfilled even if only vicariously.

This Hero, with money tied up in investments, i.e. chicken food, groceries, bare necessities, etc., went to the worst place on the planet (Earth) for a bike lover with no money to spend. Sacramento. Sacramento does not always hold this dubious honor. For example, Denver, Colorado will be a dangerous pit of temptation next year about this time.

Some of the best bike builders in the world were present. No review forthcoming. But this list will include bicycles particularly coveted by yours truly: Winter, Bishop, Naked, Steve Rex, Baum, Ira Ryan, Don Walker, Ahearne, Ellis, Signal.

Visiting NAHBS did not satiate desire, only multiplied it. A handmade 29er is firmly implanted in the desire center of this correspondent. A Ritchie P29er? Dean? Moots? Indy Fab? The answer is yes, yes and yes. Perhaps Eric from Winter Bicyles can cobble together a 29er? Yes he can. Where savings accounts are concerned, we are doomed.